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08 May 2022, 12:08

Why not white-red-white flag? Lukashenko answers question about national symbols

MINSK, 8 May (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko made it clear during the ceremony to honor the Belarusian national symbols in Minsk on 8 May why the white-red-white flag and the Pagonya emblem were unacceptable for the country, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that there are still people (although they are in the minority) who do not understand why Belarus has such national symbols. “Why not the white-red-white flag, as people call it. I would like to put it straight, without hiding my head in the sand like an ostrich, because in front of you is a man who has initiated these issues about symbols of our state in the recent history, listened to the experts and their motivation,” the president said.

First of all, the national symbols should distinguish the state from the other states, the Belarusian leader said. “They should distinguish us from others. What emblem was suggested? Pagonya [Pursuit]. Doesn't it resemble the emblem of another country? In my opinion, it does. We were suggested a flag. Add one more stripe, and we would borrow the flag of a neighboring country. Didn't we have our own history? Did we really want to adjust our history and our country to Lithuania or Poland? How relevant it sounds today!”

“Today they are sharpening knives, swords and sabers in the neighboring state, dreaming of taking away half of the country as they did before 1939. Maybe they were suggesting these symbols for their dreams - the dreams of 2020? But I have already said: in 2020 we once and for all put an aspen cross on the grave of those who wanted to ruin and destroy our country,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

He added that the Belarusian emblem and flag are special and differ from the symbols of other states, including the neighboring ones. “Symbols are the memory of generations. They should absorb all the best that the people have had in their history,” said the Belarusian leader.

According to him, the red and white colors have been preserved in the national symbols of Belarus. White symbolizes the purity of the Belarusian people, while red is the color of the people's struggle for independence, the color of victory, including that in the Great Patriotic War. “We have added green, which has been a distinctive feature of our symbols in recent years. It is the color of life, of peacefulness. All our victories are based on our desire to be independent and to work honestly on our land,” the head of state stressed.

He also mentioned the ornament of the Belarusian flag, which reflects the dreams and aspirations of the people, their traditions. “In the past, mothers, relatives and loved ones, giving their daughter in marriage, the most precious person they had, embroidered this ornament on the bride's clothes. The mother, embroidering the ornament, thought of a better life for her daughter. A better life could not be without a country. Therefore, we have embodied it in our symbols,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The president stressed that at the referendum the Belarusian people had been offered to choose the national symbols for the country, and people supported the ones the country has today. “The people made their choice and no bunch of offspring of collaborators and traitors can change this decision today,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled the need to live and act according to the law, which means to respect and fulfill the decisions made by the people in the referendum, including those regarding the national symbols: “Learn to live by the law. If we don't learn how to live by the law, we wouldn't have the need to fight for independence today. They will simply destroy us. A referendum is the supreme will of the people, the highest law, and we must obey it.

Speaking about the current Belarusian emblem and flag, the president said that in contrast to the symbols of the Soviet era, they do not have a hammer and sickle. They symbolized the participation of workers and farmers in the formation of the state, while in the new era, in the modern history of Belarus, other social strata, including entrepreneurs and intellectuals, were involved in the construction of the country. “Honestly speaking, back then I was suggested nothing and I myself did not come up with anything to replace it. That is why such a flag was preserved. Maybe our children and grandchildren, you, young people, will come up with something new and bring changes to these symbols,” the head of state said.

He added that there was also a long talk on how to replace the image of the hammer and sickle on the emblem. “Then I suggested: if we haven't come up with anything new, let's put the borders of our country [on the emblem] to show that a new independent state has emerged on the globe,” the president said.

“The essence of the flag and the emblem is that the whole nation, all of us, should worship them. They are, if you like, the secular icons of the country,” the president said.

“Tell me, how could we worship the white-red-white flags and so on? How could we do it, if these flags have the blood of every third Belarusian on them? Those who know it, understand it, have lived through it, are not dead yet. They are alive. How could we go so far as to give our people the right, call upon them to worship those symbols?” the head of state asked rhetorical questions.

He noted that, of course, the very symbols imposed on Belarus, including the white-red-white flag and the Pagonya emblem, as well as their colors, are not to blame for the meaning they have acquired as a result of historical events. “Those symbols bear the blood of our people, the weeping and moaning of our children, the children of Khatyn, the women and the elderly! The cries of the people of the Minsk Ghetto, the weeping and moaning of the people tortured in the concentration camps. The shame of betrayal and collaborationism. I reiterate: no flag and emblem are to blame for this (we know who is to blame). But we cannot worship such things,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“I want you, young people, standing in front of me in this square not to forget it. If you forget, you will have the same what we see happening in our brotherly Ukraine. God forbid us to once again repeat what happened less than a century ago, after a terrible war, not our war, which swept the country back and forth (and how many of them there were!),” said the president. “Let's live peacefully, let us build our country. Let's gather for peaceful, good events in honor of the great. Let us not trample with our feet what many generations before us have won. Let us be proud of our victories and successes!”

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